Popular hidden object puzzle adventure publisher, Artifex Mundi, has revealed their release schedule for the fall / winter season and it is packed to say the least. In addition to a couple of brand new titles, the publisher has also set their sights on making more of their older titles available for consoles. In addition, fans of their existing franchises can also look forward to brand new adventures for their favorite characters
Mary the botanist is back and this time it is her brother that is in need of rescuing. This means another adventure through exotic locations while encountering interesting creatures from Slavic mythology. Like previous titles in the series, Eventide 3 isn’t the longest or most challenging example of the genre, but makes up for it with its unique setting. Newcomers to the genre will get the most out of this game as it features quite a few minigames that are very familiar to veterans, but makes up for it with some nice hidden object scenes. The lush visuals and imaginative scenes also set this game apart from other titles. If you are a fan of the genre and want a relaxing adventure that will keep you busy for an evening or two, then Eventide 3 should be high on your wishlist.
Gameplay: Not that challenging and the minigames could have benefited from some more originality, but the hidden object scenes are good.
Graphics: The series has a reputation for great visuals and Eventide 3 doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
Sound: Decent voice acting and some nice tunes
Pinball FX 3 is not just a small update compared to Pinball FX 2, but feels like a brand new game. It comes with a range of new features that are aimed at drawing in newcomers as well as keeping veterans busy for longer. Not only does the older tables look better than ever before, but the brand new challenges and cross-platform features provide added incentives to return to them. It is a pity that not all the Pinball FX 2 tables could make the transition to the new game, it is a relief that the majority can be imported to the new game without having to pay for them again. Pinball FX 3 is without a doubt one of the best pinball games available on the market and definitely doesn’t disappoint if you are a fan of the genre.
Gameplay: Plenty of new features that make it worth moving over from Pinball FX 2.
Graphics: Thanks to real-time lighting and shadow projection the tables look better than ever.
Sound: The guide can become a little annoying, but fortunately the game features plenty of audio options to customize your experience
Jettomero is a stylish looking game where you get to guide a giant indestructible robot as it attempts to save humanity. This involves clumsily stomping around small planets while battling the occasional giant monster and collecting fuel. The fact that Jettomero is invincible and battles play out via quick time events means the game doesn’t offer much of a challenge, but makes up for it with some relaxing gampelay and a neat story. It can become repetitive as you are required to do the same things over and over in each new procedurally generated system, but doesn’t overstay its welcome and offers a unique experience while it lasts.
Gameplay: A unique and relaxing experience despite the amount of on-screen carnage that can occur.
Graphics: One of the most stylish looking games that we’ve seen in a while.
Sound: The soothing soundtrack sets a great tone for the game
West of Loathing is a single player role playing game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which results in a wild quest through the west. The world in which the game is set might be made up out of stick figures, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t fleshed out. There are tons of locations to explore, plenty of puzzles to solve and hordes of enemies to defeat. Even better, it is the type of RPG where stats actually make a difference and your choices make a difference. Fans of the genre will love the amount of depth that the game has, but everyone else will appreciate the brilliant sense of humor.
Gameplay: Packed with plenty to see and do, along with a healthy dose of humor.
Graphics: The black and white stick figure style visuals might look simple at first, but definitely has a lot of charm
Sound: Although the game doesn’t feature any voice acting, it has a great soundtrack and plenty of sound effects
Everspace might not have millions of systems to explore or an open world galaxy of possibilities, but it does have action-packed dogfights, procedurally-generated levels, roguelike elements and stellar visuals. The end result is a game that is highly addictive and offers buckets of replay value. Like all roguelike titles it can feel like a grind at times, but with three very different ships and plenty of perks to upgrade, each new run is very entertaining. If you are a fan of pretty visuals, addictive gameplay and plenty of action, then you don’t want to miss out on Everspace.
Gameplay: Very polished and highly addictive.
Graphics: Space has never looked more spectacular.
Sound: Decent voice acting, great sound effects and the soundtrack isn’t half bad either
From Nintendo and Sony to Sega and Konami, there was a time where every developer with a semi decent roster of recognizable characters felt the need to shoehorn their mascots into a kart racing game. Some were good, some not, but the most memorable ones were usually the games featuring well-known characters. 3DClouds, an Italian indie developer doesn’t have the luxury of banking on familiar faces for their title, All-Star Fruit Racing, as it is their debut title. However, this doesn’t mean that the game isn’t worth a closer look as even though it is still an Early Access title, it already impresses
Explore the sinister side of Toyko in this compelling point & click adventure / visual novel hybrid. When detective Ayami Itō is confronted by a seemingly supernatural opponent she must put her job and her sanity on the line to figure out what is going. Tokyo Dark features an engrossing storyline and a unique system where every choice and action has an influence on your sanity, professionalism, investigation and investigation. You also have the option to be as professional or reckless as you would like to be, which can alter the story and lead to more than ten different endings. While the game has some minor flaws, these do not detract from the overall experience and Tokyo Dark definitely lives up to expectations.
Gameplay: The storyline is compelling and the game has buckets of replay value.
Graphics: Interesting characters and locations.
Sound: Full voice acting would have been great, but the music and sound effects are great
Thanks to the efforts of companies like MangaGamer, there has never been a better time to be a fan of visual novels. MangaGamer, the world’s first legal download site for English translated visual novels, have been tireless in their efforts to bring these titles to the Western Market. This has resulted in numerous Japanese titles getting translated and exposed to a larger audience and more Japanese developers realizing the potential of selling their products to English audiences. One such developer is Circus, a long time partner of MangaGamer, and creators of the Da Capo and Dal Segno series. However, Circus and MangaGamer are now taking things one step further by partnering for the launch of Space Live. What makes this such a noteworthy event is the fact that Space Live will be a Japanese visual novel that is developed primarily for the Western Market
Sarah Pennington is back and this time her adventures take her to a mysterious jungle where a visit to her mother turns into a showdown with the Dragon Clan over an extraordinary plant. The Secret Order 6 won’t disappoint those who are expecting more of the beautifully detailed visuals that has become a staple for Sunward Games titles. However, the game is also quite short and can easily be completed in a couple of hours. It is still very enjoyable though, and one of the better recent entries in this particular series, so if you are a fan of the genre or previous titles then this will be a good fit for your library.
Gameplay: Short and easy, but definitely entertaining.
Graphics: The scenes in this game are imaginative as well as very detailed.
Sound: Decent voice acting and a fitting, albeit limited, soundtrack